Sydney Wilson, Staff Writer

Scary stories are an essential part of the fall season, especially when you’re a kid! Here are my top 10.


1. Goosebumps By R.L. Stine: Most parents are so excited when their children are finally ready to read a book without all the pictures like Goosebumps. This series is perfect for any child just getting out of picture books and are ready for a scary challenge. I do not believe most children over the age of 7 would get nightmares from these books. They seem perfect for this age range. The title is perfect. One word that is easily recognizable that also leaves you wanting to read the whole book front to back! 


2. Coraline By Neil Gaiman: This book is a personal favorite of mine. It is thrilling and just downright terrifying. Many parents say this book is too mature for any child under the age of 9, however, I do not agree. It may cause nightmares if the child does not fully that this is entirely fiction so I would say it suits anyone over the age of 7 or 8. This book has been thoroughly enjoyed by people of all ages since the day it reached the shelves, it is also enjoyed as a movie. The title is perfect. It’s short, sweet, and gets the point across.


3. Bunnicula By Deborah and James Howe: Parents seem to have mixed feelings about this book. Most feel a sense of nostalgia and are excited to read it to their children above the age of 7 or 8. Others feel that it is too much for anyone under the age of 10. I feel anyone above the age of 8 would enjoy this book. I sure did when I was younger and still do to this day. The title is captivating and always makes me want to continue reading past the cover.


4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark By Alvin Schwartz: Most parents absolutely hate this series for their kids. They worry it could end in nightmares, and in most cases it does. However, every now and then, there is a child that genuinely enjoys the thrill behind these stories. I personally loved these books when I was younger so I see no problem in letting kids above the age of 9 or 10 read them. I believe it does fit the age demographic I am looking at right now but it is a stretch for some. I absolutely love the title. It appeals to kids looking for this type of book perfectly. 


5. Eerie Elementary series By Jack Chabert: The verdict is indisputable, parents love this book! It is scary enough to be fun, but not scary enough to induce nightmares. Even better, the kids love it more. Children from ages 5 to 10 rave about this book during our beloved spooky season. This book had me captivated when I was younger. Reading it now was a little boring but it is clearly perfect for children within the age demographic. The title is good. It’s cute and leads kids to want to see what it’s all about.


6. The Notebook of Doom By Troy Cummings: Parents are going crazy over this book series. They say it is perfect for children over the age of 6 and helps kids transition between picture books and books with just words. Kids seem to love it just as much as the parents if not more. This book was not the most enjoyable for me but I see how kids would love it. The title seems to be perfect for the age range.


7. Small Spaces By Katherine Arden: Most parents feel neutral about this book. The overall consensus is that children should be 9 or over to read this book. It is less scary and more creepy. I am, of course, reading this as a 17-year-old but it was not my favorite. The basic literary structure is there but the plot could have been scarier. However, for someone within the age range, I think it is perfect. It isn’t super complex and seems enjoyable to read. The title is amazing, it draws your attention and leaves you wanting more. 


8. Serafina and the Black Cloak By Robert Beatty: Most parents have mixed feelings about this book. A common theme is that it seems too mature for children under the age of 10 or 11. I fear this may incite nightmares among children under the age of 10. It was a quick read and enjoyable even at 17. The title is ok. It tells you what you need to know but it doesn’t feel very creative.


9. The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep By Jack Prelutsky: This book has sparked quite a controversy among parents. It is said to elicit endless nightmares in children of all ages when read in full. If you separate the poems and read bits at a time it seems to be less terrifying. Personally, I enjoyed reading this. The rhymes are fantastic and left me feeling a little shaken. I don’t know if this is the perfect book for anyone under the age of ten. I like the title but it’s too long. 


10. The Haunting Of Hill House By Shirley Jackson‍: Parents feel this is far too mature for anyone under the age of 14 making it outside of the age range. I enjoyed reading this as a 17-year-old and I agree, this book was definitely written for a mature audience. The plot is complex and could be difficult for someone under the age of 12 or 13 to understand. The title is fun but it’s not my favorite. 



  1. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine 
  2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  3. Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe 
  4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
  5. Eerie Elementary series by Jack Chabert 
  6. The Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings 
  7. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden 
  8. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty 
  9. The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky
  10. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson